A Very Feliz Ano Nuevo With Chicano Batman at Fox Theater In Pomona
Out of all the ways to say adios to 2017, you would of been lucky if you were at the Fox Theater in Pomona on New Years Eve. Goldenvoice put together a lineup that would influence anyone to dance their way into 2018! Thee Commons, Hanni El Khatib, and progressive headliners Chicano Batman share the stage to celebrate the end of a year and beginning of a new one. Away from crowded bars full of strangers you probably have nothing in common with and music you probably wouldn’t ever listen to, This was definitely a New Years Eve night unlike any other. The music was exceptionally groovy, the drinks were tasty, and people were dancing everywhere you looked, it was basically a backyard party that had just been relocated to a venue. Thanks to the multicultural fans of these artists, it honestly felt like you were bringing in the new year and partying with your family, neighbors, and even the corn-lady from your block. There was definitely a nostalgic ambience and the fans as well as musicians had a warm energy that filled the room.
There is nothing common about a Thee Commons performance and there couldn’t have been a more fitting opener for Chicano Batman. They set the tone for this New years Eve party, excited the crowd and had everyone moving to their psychedelic-cumbia. Known for their wild onstage shenanigans, they are often seen pounding cervezas, dancing in wolf masks, and sometimes accompanied by a man frolicing around stage in a gorilla suit. With this much monkey-business and big sound it’s easy to forget there’s only three men running this show. Drummer Rene Pacheco and vocals/guitarist David Pacheco are the two talented brothers and founders of Thee Commons and their friend Jose Rojas is the energetic bassist that you’ll find has the biggest smile in the room. Going out on a bang, during their last song David threw his guitar about 7ft up in the air a few times and continued to play it remarkably well with his mouth.
Bringing in the New Year with Thee Commons was truly a special experience. As of Monday, January 8th 2018, brothers Rene and David publicly announced their new journey as “Tropa Magica”. It’s bittersweet to see one of the best live bands in LA come to end, but it will be exciting to see what the future holds for los hermanos Pacheco and their new music.
HANNI EL KHATIB
The party continues on throughout the next artist, Hanni El Khatib. For those who are not familiar with the multi-talented genius mind of Khatib, he’s a singer-songwriter, artist, multi-instrumentalist, AND producer. Commonly known as co-owner of LA record label, Innovative Leisure. His label has been killin’ it since 2010 and continues to flourish. Label features incredible artists such as, Classixx, Nick Waterhouse, BADBADNOTGOOD, The Buttertones, Tijuana Panthers, Allah-Las, and so many more!
It was immediately apparent that the crowd was not only there for Chicano Batman, but Khatib as well. Singing along to almost every song, the audience engagement was pretty powerful. As a performer, Khatib and his band that accompanied him had an incredible amount of energy that they delivered to their set. Experiencing Hanni El Khatib live was completely impressive, lively, and nothing that you would ever want to miss out on.
In Southern California especially, the rise of cumbia and latin music as a sub-genre is infiltrating psychedelic, indie, and even punk music. Leading the way, Chicano Batman illustrates this progression with their old-school soul ballads and melodies. Their Latin roots remain heavy but that old 60’s-70’s funk is even heavier.
Tropical funk pioneers, Chicano Batman filled the stage accompanied by three soulful backup singers. Complimenting the psychedelic element of the evening was the grooviest liquid light show around, produced by local artist Stranger Liquids. Along the sides of the stage were family and friends dancing their hearts out through the entire performance. During the New Years countdown everyone behind the scenes flooded the stage as Chicano Batman shared an old Colombian New Year tradition with everyone: burning a small doll. This represents the end of the old year and everything you would like to leave behind in it. It is a cleansing, creating a clean slate for the new year.
One thing to admire from Chicano Batman, is that they have a talent for bringing a room full of people together. No matter what color you are or where your family comes from, you can’t help but dance. Chicano Batman characterize revolutionary music and speak for equality. In times like these, it’s important to recognize artists who make you feel wonderful and carry these noteworthy strengths.
Coverage by Sade De La Espriella
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